Zamora: Ejercito-Estrada clan stunted San Juan’s progress
MANILA — San Juan Vice Mayor Francis Zamora kicked off his mayoralty bid in a star-studded affair at a basketball court in the city’s Barangay Kabayanan, and called on city residents to end the Ejercito-Estrada clan’s grip on power, which has allegedly stunted the city’s growth into a powerhouse rivalling the rich cities in Metro Manila.
“The people of San Juan believe that the reason the city has not evolved, progressed and modernized all these years unlike other Metro Manila cities is because of the lack of development opportunities, projects and programs, outside what the Estradas plan and approve of,” Vice Mayor Francis Zamora said in a statement on Monday.
He added that San Juaneños have been “looking for a more dynamic leadership, one that listens to the voice of the people, one that emphasizes honesty, integrity, transparency and accountability. And one that focuses on public service and not on family business,” Zamora added.
Journey lead vocalist Arnel Pineda and international singing sensation Charice led the lineup of stars who entertained Zamora’s supporters at his proclamation rally on Monday.
Other stars present were Dennis Padilla and Candy Pangilinan, who served as program hosts at the venue, seen by most as a nod to Zamora’s beginnings as a Philippine Basketball Association player.
In a Facebook post, Zamora said that inviting international acts for his rally showed his belief that “San Juaneños could become world-class.”
Zamora earlier said that his campaign, dubbed “San Juan Malaya!,” would harp on the promise of ending corruption in the city and serving its citizens “with utmost honesty, integrity, transparency and accountability.”
Zamora is facing off with erstwhile political ally, Mayor Guia Gomez in what may be the city’s hottest political contest. Gomez is seeking reelection for her third and final term.
The two broke ties in 2015 after Zamora alleged that Gomez and the Ejercito-Estrada clan dumped him and his father, San Juan Rep. Ronaldo Zamora, in favor of Councilor Janella Estrada and former Councilor Jana Ejercito, now the candidates for vice mayor and congresswoman, respectively.
Gomez is a former partner of Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, who is Janella’s grandfather and Jana’s uncle. The Ejercito-Estrada clan has been at the helm of city hall since 1969, when the former president became the then municipality’s mayor.
Estrada’s sons — Senators Jinggoy Estrada and JV Ejercito — also became San Juan mayors from 1992 to 2010. Their rule in San Juan was interrupted from 1986 to 1992, when Adolfo Sto. Domingo served as mayor.
Gomez is set to launch her proclamation rally on Saturday, April 2.
Gomez’s camp, however, has yet to disclose where her rally will be and if the former president will be there.
The former president graced Gomez’s proclamation rally at San Juan Arena in October last year. SFM
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